Dunedin is a fairly large and bustling town. Naturally, I would love to test out all of the various stores and restaurants that the Otago University town has to offer, but haven’t even made it through most of the shops on George Street. I’ve made a head start and have another six months to make the shopkeepers thoroughly sick of my presence.
And now, I’ve planned out a lovely day in Dunedin for you (we’ll make it a Tuesday because, for some business/economic/arbitrary? reason that remains a complete mystery to me, many things are cheaper on Tuesdays):
- Breakfast at Capers – On George Street, this eclectic eatery is rather expensive, but worth checking out. Their pancakes, stuffed with fruit and yogurt, are delicious (happiness on a plate) and a full order can easily be split between two people.
- Coffee at the Doc’s Café – A cute, hole-in-the-wall coffee place with average-priced coffee (aka: still way more expensive that Starbucks. I’m going through withdrawls. My lifeblood is slowly becoming less caffeinated), friendly service, and chuckle-inducing – or at least clever – tip jars.
- Feel free to go work off those pancakes at the Game Center – They’re open, but still in the process of setting up their business. You can play miniature golf or LASER TAG! I see many a study break in my future.
- Negate the calorie-burning you just did during Laser Tag with some Rob Roys ice cream – Order a “learner.” It’s supposedly a single scoop, but is really the size of two fists put together. Isn’t a brain supposed to be the size of two fists? So, basically, you’re eating a brain’s worth of ice cream. And it’s delicious. And it’s cheap. And you must try Hokey Pokey (sweet cream with honey comb chunks) at least once while in New Zealand.
- Meander around George Street – Look for some of the op-shops – second-hand stores where you can (thank goodness) find reasonably priced clothes. Carry a boom box on your shoulder and blast “Thrift Shop.” Everyone does it here. Promise.
- Lunch at Velvet Burger – Cheap burgers on Tuesdays…. I’m always a sucker for burgers with beets, egg, and aioli and, guess what, they’ve got one. If they ask, “Do you want thin or thick fries?” respond with: “Fool! I know what you’re trying to do! You can’t trick me! I know that those fries cost extra and don’t just come with my burger and are of massive quantity and will unfinishable by the time I’ve devoured my Hagrid-sized burger!” Otherwise, you’ll end up with a large bowl-full of $5 ($5!) fries that you can’t finish. Granted, they’re supposed to be some of the best fries you can get in Dunedin (which isn’t saying too much). If you must have your heart-attack-inducing fries, just remember the extra cost and think about splitting with friends.
- Make your way to the Octagon – The unofficial center of town.
- Dinner at Ratbags – Half-priced pizzas on Tuesdays! One of the greatest discoveries I’ve made since I’ve been here; my friends and I have made Ratbag-Tuesdays our new tradition. You can get a metre or half-metre pizza and there are an assortment of flavors. The margharita is fantastic, the one with capers less so (unless you like capers the size and flavor of gall stones. Hypothetically). They also make wonderful sangria. I actually thought I was beginning to really like the taste of alcohol until my friends informed me that I was enjoying a batch that was probably 90% fruit juice. Whatever. That was some good fruit juice.
- End the night with a movie at Rialto or Hoyts cinema – Again, movies at Hoyts are cheaper on Tuesdays. And by “cheaper” I mean less than their usual $16-$19 price (it’s ridiculous). I just saw Gangster Squad. I would, um, recommend another movie. [Random Movie Review] Not that it was terrible, but I found it a bit contrived and less than stellar. Some dialogue made me stop and listen, but most of the time it seemed overdone. Lines like “Here comes Santee Claus” had me a bit confused until I realized, “Oh, there’s a tree and some presents being shot up. Cue audience to remember that this is Christmas so bad guys are supposedly allowed to say unfortunate one-liners involving fictional jolly characters.” My friend was impressed with the fight scenes, but I didn’t really care for them. I like that the filmmakers tried something innovative (flash + freeze frame), but then I didn’t actually like what it was they tried…. Give me a good sword/karate/dirty street fight any day (Mmm, Inigo Montoya and the Dread Pirate Roberts duel. That’s what I’m talkin’ about). Well, I can see that they tried to add some racial diversity to the Gangster Squad. Lookit that, they’ve even got their token black member. And he doesn’t die. You can totally predict who WILL be the one to die. So much set up. They just introduce the dude and you’re like, “Well, guess you won’t be making it to the credits.” Having said that, the scene with dead guy’s son and the bike almost had me in tears. And I wasn’t even hormonal (as far as I can tell, that means the scene was well-written and well-acted). Finally, some more positive things: I loved the chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. I loved the cut where some gangsters drill through someone’s head and the next shot is a burger patty on the barbeque. It was just so chilling and unexpected – I was pleasantly grossed-out (is that possible?) and laughed out loud which earned me some strange looks. Overall, I think the film did a fairly good job of mixing humor with action, but, although most films these days just look spectacular, Gangster Squad didn’t really bring anything new to the table. Maybe it’s a movie worth renting, but I didn’t find it theatre worthy.